District Office Regular Schedule:
M-F / 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
District Office Summer Schedule:
M-Th / 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
|Superintendent's Corner - September 2018|
Posted Date: 09/01/2018
The 2018-19 school year is off to a fast start. I am so excited to see what the school year will bring for our students and staff. It is a super time to be in education in USD 244 as we have many improvements going on with our facilities to give our teachers the best place to teach and our students the best place to learn.
I thought it would be a good time to share some good news with regard to student fees in USD 244: there was no increase this year. Breakfast and lunch prices did not see an increase. Driver education classes this summer stayed the same. We evaluate our budget each year and determine if we need to have an increase or not. We feel it is important to try and maintain strong programs for our students while trying to not increase costs to our families.
The summer is a very busy time in the district office. One of the things that we focus on is closing out our budget year on June 30, and starting a new budget year on July 1. Tracey Moerer, our board clerk and administrative assistant, and I work on creating a budget for the new year. This is challenging as we have rules that have to be followed. The budget must be published in the Coffey County Republican before we have our budget hearing. It has to be published ten days before the hearing. Also, we must have the budget hearing before August 25. We try to get our enrollment projection as accurate as possible all while doing this before our enrollment date in early August due to all of the guidelines I listed above.
If you remember in a previous article, I talked about how there are “pots of money” in education that can only be spent in specific areas. Here are some reminders. We pay for staff salaries out of the general fund. We can’t pay for teacher salaries out of capital outlay. If we spend money on At Risk programs, that funding comes from the At Risk line item. Some examples of money spent from At Risk funds would be our BMS After School Program and our Summer Learning Academy we had this past summer for grades 1-6 students. If you look at the budget that we prepared, you may see some line items that increased from previous years. One example is staff salaries. We made a nice move forward with salaries district-wide since school finance from the state has been challenging the past 7-8 years. Our budget reflected an increase in staff salaries. Our board is committed to make sure we take care of our staff so they do great things with our kids in the classroom. Another area that shows an increase is staff in-service. From years past, we haven’t been able to send our teachers to trainings due to budget concerns. We are able to do this more now with additional funding from the state. Staff development with our district and building in-services is very important for our employees. It is just as important to send our people to training opportunities throughout the school year that focus on their job related areas. One area that I mentioned earlier is At Risk. The state has given us more money to spend specifically on students that have some obstacles in their way to be successful. From 2016-17 school year to this school year, we have seen our At Risk budget line increase by over $500,000. Career and post-secondary education has increased this past year as we are doing more to support our students to become better prepared to enter life after they graduate from Burlington High School. We are also increasing our partnership with Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia. We have kids that are transported to classes daily, and we have kids taking classes on site at BHS through FHTC.
An important item that people want to look at when talking about school budgets is the mill levy. The mill levy actually decreased a little this year (down .026). Holding the mill levy stable or slightly decreasing it is a goal of ours each year.
I am going to try something new to end my articles this year; a fun fact about USD 244. Did you know that out of 81 seniors this year, there are 18 that have a perfect 4.0 grade point average to start the school year?
As always, feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions. My phone number is 620-364-8478 Ext. 3040. You can also reach me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org